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Online program keeps parents, schools, businesses in the loop

Nagel Middle School teacher Cortney Van Ausdal wanted to teach her 8th graders about personal checking and savings accounts. Who could she get from the community to come in and talk?

Tweeting or posting on Facebook may get a response but would it be the right person? Would that person be local and would they get back to Cortney in a timely manner? So she turned to a new online engagement platform called Cerkl.


Twenty minutes later she had her contact, Zimmerman and Company CPAs.  

Zimmerman had spoken to classes before but she describes, it was on the business's schedule. "We'll come in and teach your kids on this date." She goes on to say, "Well it doesn’t necessarily fit into the curriculum, so we wanted to change the driver so the businesses weren’t driving it but the curriculum and the students were driving it. That’s where Cerkl comes in.”

Founder, Cincinnati entrepreneur Tarek Kamil, says Cerkl connects organizations, businesses and parents/patrons.

  • You sign up
  • You create a profile with your talents and interests
  • You start receiving communication on the schedule you choose.

Forest Hills and Madeira schools are piloting the program now. Other organizations are also using it.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.